Top five

September 14, 2007

Here are five items that struck me as particularly noteworthy from the current Previews catalog, and since orders are due tomorrow, I thought I should get off the pot and mention them.

  • The Vinyl Underground #2 (Vertigo): I must have missed this last month, but this issue’s cover image has the word “detectives” spray-painted on it, so it caught my eye. Then I noticed that the art is being provided by the splendid Simon (Paris) Gane and Cameron (Catwoman) Stewart. I’m not familiar with writer Si Spencer, but the prospect of Gane and Stewart drawing “a red-hot group of occult detectives” would certainly be hard for me to pass up. And looking at Spencer’s Wikipedia entry, I notice that he wrote for Eastenders, one of the best soap operas ever. Sold. (Page 125.)
  • Azumanga Daioh Omnibus Edition (ADV): I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to catch up with this series by Kiyohiko (Yotsuba&!) Azuma, and 682 pages for $24.99 is certainly that opportunity. Yay! (Page 213.)
  • The Museum Vaults: Excerpts from the Journal of an Expert (NBM): I don’t have any prior knowledge of this work from Marc-Antoine Mathieu, but the cover image was striking, and the solicitation text pretty persuasive when it describes Mathieu as an artist “who marries the stylings of M.C. Escher with the paranoia of Franz Kafka.” Also, I just can’t resist it when NBM publishes a comic about the Louvre. The first, Glacial Period, is offered again, if you missed it. Oh, and if you’ve been longing to learn more about the assassination of James Garfield (just trust me that you have), NBM offers another crack at Rick Geary’s The Fatal Bullet. Oh, NBM, when did you slip me that love potion? (Page 328.)
  • The Annotated Northwest Passage (Oni): I believe I’ve mentioned (ad nauseum) how much I enjoyed this series when it was in paperback installments. This is a gorgeous collection of the historical adventure series, with lots of extras to supplement Scott Chantler’s terrific, wonderfully illustrated story. And for $19.95, the hardcover package is a steal. (Page 330.)
  • Andromeda Stories Vol. 2 (Vertical): More classic sci-fi from one of the Magnificent ‘49ers, Keiko Takemiya. To be honest, I found the third volume of To Terra… kind of rushed. It had a different kind of momentum than the first two, and I’m not sure it was entirely successful. But I admire Takemiya’s work enormously overall, and I love collections of short stories, so there’s really no down side. (Page 362.)